Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Chinon 2011 by Clos Niverdiere

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Clos Niverdiere, a dry red, is made wine in the Loire Region, Sub Region Touraine. Eric Asimov said: "The Loire Valley produces cabernet francs that are easy to drink and satisfy the soul"

First up, Clos Niverdiere Chinon is 100% Cabernet Franc. You know the Metro Wines Tasting Panel skepticism about 100% of this grape in a bottle: if the winery is going there, they better be doing it right. Clos Niverdiere is doing it right. But don't take my word for it, witness: "Sleek and polished, with black currant, black cherry and black tea notes racing along, backed by mouthwatering acidity through the finish. Still a touch taut, so let this open fully in the cellar. Best from 2012 through 2014. 1,000 cases made." –JM 90pts Wine Spectator

The wine is dark and sultry with purple haze that beckons you to taste its black currants and black cherries wrapped in the herbs and spice characteristic of the varietal. The Metro Wines Tasting Panel finds this 100% Cabernet Franc at $13.99 to be an extraordinary value. And at 12.5% alcohol, it is, as we say here at the shop, "a bottle for dinner." Tres bien.

>> Real Time Customer Comments: Two of our very loyal and wine wise customers shared a bottle in the shop yesterday. They recommend and we agree that to coax the very best out of this Chinon, open for an hour before serving.

 

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Gros Plant is Lonely

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LONELY GRAPE DAY!

Review by Gina Trippi with Kendal Klein

Gros Plant, a French grape that bottles as a dry white, crisp wine akin to Picpoul in nose and palate is so very lonely. Passed by, passed over, shunned for better known grapes, Gros Plant comes to Asheville hoping that this open minded community will give it a fair shake and welcome it into their homes and onto their tables as you did with Picpoul. 

Gros Plant is also known as Folle Blanche which literally means 'crazy white.' It is aged in stainless steel tanks for six months with light filtration. It is a super crisp and mineral driven with acidic lemon and chalky notes. Andy Hale our expert wine educator says it is a "killer shellfish wine." No other wine will pair as well as this Gros Plant with shellfish, mackerel, and the ever favorite sea urchin.  Yum!

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Bring Me Bordeaux: Wine Class

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By Gina Trippi with Kendal Klein

Come one, come ALL!!! Wine Classes finally begin. And we will kick off with the The Big Boy, Bordeaux!  Andy Hale will shepherd us through this first class, "Bring Me Bordeaux," January 29th from 7pm-8pm $15.

Andy Hale served as the Sommelier at the 5-Star 5-Diamond rated Sanctuary Hotel in Kiawah island, South Carolina. He also has experience in wine distribution and retail. Andy Hale knows the biz and the wine! "Bordeaux is one of the most intimidating regions in France, but in this class we will make sense of it," says Andy. The class will present answers to FAQs such as:  Does your wine need to age? What's the difference in the Left Bank and the Right Bank? And what exactly is White Bordeaux? 

We will be tasting the following wines:

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This Graville Lacoste 2012 White Bordeaux is 75% Semillion, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle. Unfiltered, medium bodied and full flavored, this wine reflects the chalky, stony soil of the vineyard. We can say, without hesitation, that Chateau Graville White Bordeaux has all the precision expected of a Kermit Lynch Selection. Clear light yellow in color, the aroma is lemon citrus with a round palate serving up flavors of lemon, grapefruit and minerality. The wine is dry, earthy, balanced and food friendly. Serving smoothly with poultry as well as tough customers such as asparagus and curry and herbs including anise and fennel makes this a covered dish dinner wine. Selling on the internet for 21.99, our price is $17.99.

 

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Chateau Roc Meynard 2010, Bordeaux Superior is a true Bordeaux value.  Aged for 20 months in tank, this Bordeaux blend is 90% Merlot giving the wine finesse and fruit, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon adding weight and complexity and 5% Cabernet Franc making for the high note. Located in the village of Villegouge, the Chateau sits stately next to the Fronsac Region. The vines are planted on the hillsides within a perfect terroir of chalk, clay and sandy soils. Robust, yet elegant, with ripe tannins and a velvety feel, the wine presents black fruits and darker spices on the palate making it a perfect match in texture and taste for meats and cheeses. 

And last but not least...

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The Medoc region of Bordeaux is home to pine forests, sand dunes and many thousands of acres of vineyard. Wedged between the Atlantic coastline and the broad Gironde estuary, the Medoc is effectively a peninsula. It extends north-westwards from Bordeaux city to the Pointe de Grave headland, whose sandy, gravelly terrain hints at what lies beneath the Medoc vineyards, and makes the area quite perfectly suited to harvest grapes for wine. The Tour Saint-Vincent is a typical Bordeaux with a nose of crushed berry, smoke and spice. On the palate you find soft, red fruit and hints of spice, with lovely freshness and soft tannins. This outstanding 2009 vintage of a 5/50 Cabernet and Merlot blend brought incredible ripeness to this blend. It shows opulent berry and black currernt flavors and a rich textured mouth feel. The tannins are highly polished and the overall appeal is very forward and intriguing. Drinks beautifully now and will age gracefully over the next 3-7 years. Already sold out at many on line retailers and priced to sell here: $17.99

Carolina Epicurean posted our notice!!

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Wine Classes and Tastings @Metro Wines

Posted: 18 Jan 2014 07:36 PM PST

Wine classes start at Metro Wines on Wednesday, January 29th from 7 to 8pm. A wine class will be held the last Wednesday of every month. Andy Hale of Metro Wines will lead this first class and tasting, “Bring Me Bordeaux.” Andy Hale served as Sommelier at 5-Star and 5-Diamond rated Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

“Bordeaux is one of the most intimidating regions in France but, in this class, we will make sense of it,” says Hale. The class will offer answers to FAQs such as the difference between Left Bank and Right Bank Bordeaux and just what is a White Bordeaux?

Wines will be served in Riedel glasses. Cost is $15. Plenty of free parking next to the building and overflow across Charlotte Street at Home Source.

Metro Wines
169 Charlotte St
Asheville, NC
828-5759525

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Cheverny, Kermit Lynch and Eric Asimov

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Winemaking has been a work in progress since the 6th century in Cheverny. French wine rules require that all Cheverny be a blend of varietals with Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay being the usual suspects. This 85% Sauvignon Blanc blend has a lime driven palate and is crisp and snappy all the way to the end. Last night, in the first in a series of cooking classes at Ma Belle France, Metro Wines paired this wine with mussels in a roux sauce. Kermit Lynch really outdid himself with this import. For those of you who are not fans of Sauvignon Blanc, and at least two of your staffers at Metro Wines fall into that category!! we are obliged to tell you that you have not had this one.
 
* Domaine du Salvard Cheverny *

Domaine du Salvard

Domaine du Salvard has been a working domaine since 1898, through five hardworking generations of the Delaille family. Today, all forty-two hectares of vineyards are farmed by the capable brother team of Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille, with help from their father Gilbert. To our delight, they have carried on the traditions established by their ancestors, producing a true, classic Cheverny that is both simple and elegant. Unlike others in the appellation who still vinify the widely-planted and forgettable Romorantin varietal, the Delaille brothers have focused their attention on growing fresh, lively Sauvignon Blanc, deeply rooted in the sand, clay, and limestone plains of northeastern Touraine. Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cot constitute their red grape holdings, creating youthful reds with great aromatics. Gilbert and his sons have also made their own contributions to the heritage of the domaine, including the introduction of sustainable farming practices into the vineyards, as well as temperature-controlled vinification equipment to the winery.


Until finally achieving A.O.C. status in 1993, Cheverny was widely regarded as one of the best V.D.Q.S. (Vin de Qualité Superieur) of the Loire. However, some argue that this A.O.C.-in-waiting designation was a political maneuver by the I.N.A.O. to keep Cheverny’s delicious, sprightly Sauvignon Blanc out of competition with the other more famous appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Kermit was the first to discover the charm and value of Cheverny back in 1978 when he imported the Domaine Jean Gueritte. He took on the Cheverny of Domaine du Salvard in 1992, a year before the status change in the appellation. We continue to tout the domaine’s wine as one of the greatest values for Sauvignon Blanc perfection.

 

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A Simple Machine, Almost Official NFL Playoff Wine

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A Simple Machine 2012, Mendicino County Red, is 60% Carignane with a blend of Grenache and Syrah. Despite the heavy equipment name and label look, the wine is is light on its feet, "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee," easy to drink and affordable. But of most importance as our NFL standard bearer, A Simple Machine is 13% alcohol, perfect for all afternoon. Smooth as this wine may be, it bites back making it big enough for burgers. A Simple Machine makes real what THEY say, if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch! GAME ON !!

From the winemaker:

About Simple Machine

Simple Machine is focused on hand-crafting distinct wines from specific premium vineyard sites in the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The wines are meant to reflect an honest expression of these vineyards and their own natural character. Minimal intervention in the cellar, native yeast fermentation, and low-tech winemaking authentically express a sense of place through our wines.

Brian Denner started Simple Machine in The Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon in 2010. He began his winemaking career during the 1997 harvest working as a cellar rat at Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, California. After earning a degree in Enology from CSU Fresno, he worked as Cellar Master at Williams Selyem winery in Healdsburg, California from 2000 until 2003. He moved to Casablanca, Chile in 2003 to work as Enologo/Assistant Winemaker for Kingston Family Vineyards. He then worked as Winemaker at Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles from 2004 until 2009. Brian is currently the Winemaker at Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Oregon, where he also produces Simple Machine wines.

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Homeward Bound Benefit Wines

By Kendal Klein

Montevina Chardonnay 2011

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Montevina Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in some of California’s finest cool-climate vineyards. Montevina Chardonnay is a rich, golden-hued wine with seductive aromas of tart apples and figs it also has Intense fruit aromas that dominate the nose with apple, lemon, and citrus. Crisp flavors of tropical fruit and ripe pear are layered with hints of vanilla bean and toasted almonds for added dimension. You will find Hints of sweet oak, banana and honeydew melon lingering on your palate. Bright acidity balances the rich flavors and makes this chardonnay very food-friendly pairing beautifully with grilled scallops drizzled with delicious cream sauce.

Mountain Door Malbec

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From Argentina’s Mendoza territory, this is an unusually supple and balanced Malbec at an affordable price. The Mountain Door label was painted by Santa Fe artist Patrick McFarlin and depicts the beautiful landscape of rural Mendoza, with a cottage-like bodega rendered in the rich colors of the Argentine flag. This Malbec offers generous flavors that reflect the richness of the painting…ripe and polished, with a plush core of plum, blackberry, raspberry, morello cherries, violets and mocha. It’s a wine made for grilled meats, salmon, pasta and, of course, empanadas.

Juame Serra Cristalino

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This fine Spanish sparkling wine is made using the Traditional Method, in which the secondary fermentation producing a sparkling wine's bubbles occurs in the bottle. Its fresh, toasty nose, beautiful citrus, green apple and mineral flavors, supple, lively mouth-feel, and clean, crisp finish make it the ultimate celebratory wine. You wil find aromas of orange, pineapple and pear, plus a hint of herbs. On the palate, it is juicy and very fruity, with crisp acidity and a sharp element of orange zest adding a bitter touch. Finishes clean and brisk, with modest persistence and an echo of candied citrus fruits. It won 87 points from Wine Cellar. This is an incredible value in sparkling wine to be enjoyed on its own or with caviar, sushi, seafood, fried foods and Asian dishes.

 

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Oasis del Cuyo and Delas Viognier for Almost FREE Friday

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Oasis del Cuyo Malbec 2012

The word CUYO comes from the indigenous Mapuche language which means “country of deserts”. Its name is associated today with the wine region in Argentina. The word OASIS is used for the pristine water lakes created by the snowmelt of the Andes Mountains. OASIS del CUYO wines are handcrafted from vines grown in the deserts of MENDOZA, ARGENTINA.

TASTING NOTES
Deep ruby color. Appealing red fruit nose with hints of tobacco. Medium bodied with a smooth and lush mouth-feel. Finishes dry with lasting flavors. Excellent choice for a young and fruity everyday wine. Enjoy as an aperitif or with meats and pasta dishes.

What our customers have to day: "great taste" "big wine for the price" "velvety" If you are tracking Almost FREE FRiday, you know that we poured this Malbec last Friday. Since it was so popular and so many customers took bottles home, we are pouring Oasis del Cuyo again! $9.99.

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Delas Viognier:  This 100% French Viognier is intense and bright in light golden color. On the palate you will find apricots and peaches. This is a high quality French White that tastes and looks, (yes, we said "looks"- a dignified, traditional, expensive looking label) way more than the $10.49 shelf price.

And, loved world wide, just for fun, this is a translation of discussion from a German retailer:

General Description 
Delas Frères was founded in 1835 by Charles Audibert and Philippe Delas. Already in 1879 the winery had a worldwide reputation and won the first gold medals in Sydney. In 1924 the original name Audibert & Delas was changed to Delas Frères. To meet the increasing demand for wine was after World War II made an investment in the acquisition of vineyards in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage. In the sixties of the last century Delas Frères was one of the leading wine companies in the Rhône, with its own vineyards in Hermitage, Cornas, Côte Rôtie and Condrieu. Until the day of Delas Frères vadaag is owner of top vineyards in Hermitage as Les Bessards and Marquise de la Tourette, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cote Rotie, Cornas, Condrieu, St. Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone and the Ventoux region

Remarks 
The grapes are mainly from vineyards in the southern Drôme. After entry into the cellar the grapes are pressed and refrigerated for 24 hours is stored in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation takes place at a maximum temperature 24 ° C.Om the wine to retain its fresh and fruity character of the wine does not undergo lactic acid fermentation. The wine is stored until bottling in stainless steel. The wine is light filtered before bottling.

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Case Club Saves Energy

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Asheville Citizen Times posts a list of electricity conservation tips from Duke energy. Metro Wines would suggest another easy and cost effective energy saving tip:

From Duke Energy:

 

• Turn off unnecessary lights and postpone household chores, where possible, that involve the use of electricity.

• Select the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.

• The ceiling fan in the home is a great way to stay cool in the summer – and warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

• Leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.

• Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

** Metro Wines suggests that you join the Case Club. This saves a trip to the shop which in turn saves energy, saves time, saves aggravation, all of which leads to further energy use in some form: more lights because you are late arriving home, a hot bath to settle your nerves, gasoline spent on the extra driving, just to name a few.  As a Case Club Member, you will always have bottles of wine that will pair with your meals or just to enjoy with a book. Promote conservation! Join the Case Club @MetroWines.

 

 

 

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Alta Roses, Eric Asimov and Us

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Eric Asimov offers his list of 20 winter wines under $20 today, January 8, 2014. Eric features one of our top selling, most beloved and respected wines, Altaroses. Metro Wines LOVES this wine for its commitment to tradition, sophisticated style, incomparable palate and versatility. This is our review by Kevin Tuomy of this old world style Granatxa (aka new world: Garnacha) posted way back on September 19, 2013:

Rich color, smells of fresh earth and leather with hints of blackberry strike the nose of the unique Altaroses, Granatxa fine de Darmos. The wine is made in a style of wine making that produces a wine infused with flavor and balance rather then the forced extraction of fruit and depth by some of Spain's more widely known versions of this varietal. The Anguera Brothers chose to use the varietal name Granatxa, Old Catalan for Garnacha, as an emblem of this lighter, traditional style of Montsant wines. The tannic finish of this 2011 wine seems to predict that it will age well in the bottle. Probably best to decant and then serve with a robust grilling of Neiman Ranch pork, or slow braised short ribs. Biodynamic Certification 2012. $15.49.

THE POUR (in pertinent part) by Eric Asimov, January 8, 2014

"Exploring, a bottle at a Time" An Adventure in Tasting: 20 winter wines for $20 a piece

     Nowadays, great wines come from all directions and continents. You can easily be content drinking familiar, wonderful wines. Yet for me, the joy of wine requires the warm embrace of old friends and the thrill of recognizing new ones. 

     Obscure wines hold one potential advantage over their better-known counterparts: greater value. Because there is less demand for unfamiliar wines, they can offer a greater ratio of quality to price. A $20 bottle from the old reliable Mâconnais may bring you a pretty good expression of chardonnay. But that same $20 may also bring you one of the best possible expressions of vespaiolo, a white grape from the Veneto in northeastern Italy that, for now at least, has all the cachet of an old sock. 

     It’s long been my contention that the greatest values in wine can be found in the neighborhood of $20 a bottle. It’s not cheap, I know. You can certainly find many drinkable wines for less than $10 a bottle, and some wines that are highly interesting for $10 to $15. But the number of fascinating bottles rises exponentially in the $15-to-$25 range...

Eric's review of Altaroses:

Monstant is to Priorat as Gigondas is to Chateauneuf-de-Pape, a modest but charming region that both benefits and suffers from the association with the grandeur of its neighbor. while proximity to Priorat makes for an easy sales pitch, it also tends to obscure what Monstant does best, offering delightfully amiable wine alike this one from Joan d'Anguera, made entirely of garnacha, or granatxa as rendered in Catalan, gently fruity with grippy tannins and touches of anise and earth.

 

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Because Shania

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"Because" has been chosen as word of the year. The reason is that, as a culture, we seem to be using 'because" before every other word. Examples include "because tired" and "because awesome."  Metro Wines, not a shop to be left out of progress!! hereby adds a few to consider: "because competitive prices," "because FREE parking and PLENTY of it," "because great selection," "because knowledgeable staff," "because event space," "because why fight traffic and congested parking lots" and "because Shania by Juan Gil works out to $6 a bottle in a box of 4 and lasts for three weeks!" Just because some thoughts. 

American Dialect Society Chooses ‘Because’ as Word of the Year

After a year dominated by upstarts like “selfie,” “bitcoin” and “twerk,” the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year honor for 2013 has gone to a seemingly old-hat vocabulary item: “because.”

Increasingly used to introduce a noun or adjective rather than a full clause — as in “because tired” or “because awesome” — “because” won in a landslide at the society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, garnering 127 of 175 votes, well ahead of the runner-up, “slash” (as in “come and visit slash stay”). It also triumphed in the “most useful” category, ahead of nominees like “struggle bus” (as in, “I’m riding the struggle bus”) and “ACC,” or “aggressive carbon copy,” which refers to using email to undermine the position of the recipient by, say, cc’ing the boss.

Ben Zimmer, chairman of the dialect society’s new words committee, explained that casual online usage had transformed “because.”

“No longer does ‘because’ have to be followed by of or a full clause,” he said in a statement. “Now one often sees tersely worded rationales like ‘because science’ or ‘because reasons.’ You might not go to a party ‘because tired.’ As one supporter put it, “because” should be word of the year ‘because useful!’”

The society also hung laurels on a number of other words.”Sharknado” won the “most unnecessary” category with 162 votes, crushing second-place finisher “cronut” (18 votes, presumably cast by people who have been able to secure one of the sought-after croissant slash doughnuts). “Catfish,” meaning to misrepresent oneself online, won in the “most creative” category. “Least untruthful,” used by the national intelligence director, James R. Clapper Jr., in June to describe statements he had made to Congress, was deemed “most euphemistic.”

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Almost FREE Friday: Shania and Sant Evasio

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Sant ' Evasio Piedmont Barbera 2012, $19.99

The 3 liter box amounts to 4 bottles making the per bottle price about $5! This is a medium bodied wine with light tannins. Described as "unobjectionable," at 13% alcohol, with a shelf life of about 3 weeks, this is a party crowd pleaser over and over again.

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Shania Monastrell 2012. $24

From the winemaker: "Situated in the southeast of Spain and part of an outstanding natural Mediterranean landscape, the Shania grape blooms into small and very concentrated berries yielding a well balanced wine. Bright and youthful ruby color, vibrant fruity nose. concentrated medium bodied wine with lively moutful of fruity goodness along with soft ample tannins and hints of oak."  At about $6 a bottle, 4 in the box, this is a great buy.

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Football Wine #1 RAATS Red Jasper

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Tailgating? Prepping for Playoffs and the Superbowl? Follow our developing list of football wines. The first is RAATS Red Jasper made by winemaker Bruwer Raats. Red Jasper is healthy blend of 56% Cabernet Franc, 27% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot.  Pair it, as we did @MetroWines on New Years Eve, with South African Black Soy Bean Hummus and Sweet Potato Chips. Because who knows more about football, albeit a different version, than sports fans in South Africa!! 

South African Black Soy Bean Hummus

 

Black soybeans are a terrific stand-in for chickpeas in this robust hummus. Because of the nuttiness and creamy texture, no olive oil and very little tahini are required to give the dip its traditionally rich flavor. Give the hummus some heat by adding a bit of the North African hot pepper paste called harissa.  You can find harissa  and tahini at most grocery stores that offer basic international foods. Serve hummus in a small bowl, garnish with a sprinkling of sweet paprika and a scattering of oil-cured olives. Pita triangles or sweet potato chips to dip.

 

ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black soybeans or 1 can (15 ounces) organic black soybeans, drained (reserve liquid)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soybean cooking or canning liquid or water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon harissa  or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 
  • Sweet paprika and oil-cured olives, for garnish

preparation

Mince the garlic. Add black soybeans and the minimum amounts of the remaining ingredients. Process to a fairly smooth paste. Taste and blend in more of any ingredients required to give a smooth consistency and to suit your taste. Makes about 1 and 1/4 cups.

 

 

Served at New Years Eve Wine World Way, December 31, 2013

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Zweigelt Zum Martin Sepp

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Zweigelt is different in a good way. Ever wonder why movie critics pick outlandish movies for critical acclaim? When questioned, they always say they have seen so many movies, they want to see something different. The same phenomenon occurs when you taste wine after wine. You begin to seek out "the different." But not crazy different. High quality, finessed, different different different. Zweigelt is just that, new with an old heritage, or as they say on TV, it's new to you. This red grape, Zweigelt, was the invention, yes, invention of a researcher named Fritz Zweigelt.

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It was a dark and stormy night when Zweigelt crossed two other Austrian grapes, one of which has similar characteristics to the Pinot Noir grape we know and love, and gave life to this aromatic medium bodied grape. Enormously popular in Austria and throughout Europe, Zweigelt is best served slightly chilled to bring up the raspberry and cherry nose and palate. Bottled with a cap, a la beer, (ask us about the story there!) our Zweigelt comes in a liter bottle adding a few extra glasses to the table and making this a world class bargain!

But don't take my word for it, read Eric Asimov in the New York Times:

June 13, 2007 WINES OF THE TIMES

By ERIC ASIMOV

A GRAPE and a wine that go by the name zweigelt have immediate obstacles to overcome on the path toward popularity. First and foremost is the fact that the American wine-drinking public is attracted to melodious wine terminology drawn from the romance languages. Chardonnay and merlot and Chianti and Rioja flow beautifully from the tongue, with connotations of captivating pleasures. Germanic words like zweigelt, blaufränkisch and, yes, rotwein, do not.

That has been true for years, but you know what? It’s time to get over it. The pure pleasures available by being open to some of the less familiar Germanic wines are now too great to allow a little matter like language to stand in the way.

Today we’re talking specifically about Austria. If Austria is known at all for its wines, it’s for whites. Its dry, minerally rieslings are more full-bodied than Germany’s, while its peppery grüner veltliners have actually achieved a modest vogue of their own. Yet as delicious as Austrian whites can be, the real excitement these days is in the discovery of its reds, most notably zweigelt (pronounced TSVYE-gelt) but also blaufränkisch.

The two grapes are linked by geography and by heritage, so the wine panel tasted them together, 12 bottles of each, along with one that was largely a blend of the two, for a total of 25 bottles.

For the tasting, Florence Fabricant and I were joined by Fred Dexheimer, a former sommelier who is now a manager at T. Edward Wines, an importer and distributor, and Aldo Sohm, wine director at Le Bernardin, who is not only Austrian himself but was selected best sommelier in the country this year by the American Sommelier Association.

Zweigelt and blaufränkisch are among the most widely planted red grapes in Austria. Blaufränkisch is the older, and it theoretically has the potential to make wines of greater depth and ageability than zweigelt, but it is also more difficult to grow and make into wine.

In Germany and in the United States, blaufränkisch is known as lemberger, and in fact our tasting coordinator slipped one American lemberger into the otherwise all-Austrian sample. We found some blaufränkisches that we liked very much, but we also found a stolidity in some of the wines that contrasted greatly with the lighter, more agile zweigelts.

Zweigelt is a relatively new grape, developed in 1922 when an Austrian scientist, Fritz Zweigelt, crossed blaufränkisch with St. Laurent. The grape was originally called rotburger, but mercifully, for English speakers at least, the name was changed to honor its creator.

A few of our bottles came from areas associated mostly with white wines, like Kamptal, Kremstal and Donauland, but most were from the red wine territory of Burgenland, in eastern Austria, south of Vienna and along the border with Hungary.

It is no exaggeration to say that we were greatly excited by the zweigelts. They had a freshness and grace that marked them as wines that would go beautifully with a wide range of foods. What’s more, they had an exotic spice and floral character, predominantly aromas of cinnamon and violets, that made them distinctive and unusual.

Fred compared the zweigelts to Côtes-du-Rhônes. They reminded me of lighter Bierzos or spicy Beaujolais.

What helped make the zweigelts so good was the consistency of style among the producers. Unlike the blaufränkisches, which for the moment seem to have some identity issues, only one zweigelt among those we tried strayed from the lithe, nimble model…...

In comparing wines made from the two grapes, it’s immediately apparent that blaufränkisch makes bigger and deeper wines, but they are not as graceful. The best blaufränkisches have a fullness that can be very satisfying, but some that we tasted seemed clumsy, as if the producers were unsure how to get the most out of this grape…….As for zweigelt, these wines are ripe for discovery right now. Their lightness makes them fine reds for summer drinking, while their spicy, floral flavors should sustain them in colder weather. Their price is right year round…..As for the name, well, take a tip from somebody whose own name could be Exhibit A in an alphabetical list of hard-to-pronounce words: zweigelt’s not so bad.

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Familie Bauer Gruner Veltliner

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Gruner Veltliner Grapes grown in the centuries old rich soil near the Danube River, make for a wine that presents crisp acidity and solid citrus flavor and a touch of white pepper. The wine is full bodied and substantial. Familie Bauer comes to us in a liter and considering how easy it is to drink, this is a real benefit! Austria offers 35 grape varieties. Who knew? Familie Bauer says that Austria has excellent sites for internationally known varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Muskateller,Traminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah. But even more important is the precious portfolio of local grape varieties, with Grüner Veltliner at the top of the list. This white variety alone accounts for almost one third of Austria's vineyards. 

From wiki about Grüner Veltliner (Green Veltliner) is a variety of white wine grape variety grown primarily in Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The leaves of the grape vine are five-lobed with bunches that are long but compact, and deep green grapes that ripen in mid-late October in the Northern Hemisphere.

In 2008, Grüner Veltliner plantations in Austria stood at 17,151 hectares (42,380 acres), and it accounts for 32.6% of all vineyards in the country, almost all of it being grown in the northeast of the country.[1] Some is made into sparkling wine in the far northeast around Poysdorf. Along the Danube to the west of Vienna, inWachauKremstal and Kamptal, it grows with Riesling in terraces reminiscent of the Rhine, on slopes so steep they can barely retain any soil. The result is a very pure, minerally wine capable of long aging, that stands comparison with some of the great wines of the world. In recent blind tastings organized by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Grüner Veltliners have beaten world-class Chardonnays from the likes of Mondavi and Maison Louis Latour.[2]

Outside of Austria, Grüner Veltliner is the second most widely grown white grape variety in the Czech Republic, encompassing approximately 2,120 hectares (5,200 acres) and resulting in approximately 11% of Czech wine production.[3] In recent years a few US wineries have started to grow and bottle Grüner Veltliner, including wineries and vineyards in MassachusettsOregonMaryland, the North Fork of Long Island AVA and Finger Lakes AVA regions of New York StateNapa Valley,Clarksburg AVAMonterey AVA and Santa Ynez Valley AVA in CaliforniaAshtabula CountyOhio and in South New Jersey. Gruner Veltliner is also planted inAustralia, particularly in the Adelaide Hills wine region in South Australia, as well as the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada.

Some ampelographers (such as Hermann Goethe in his 1887 handbook of ampelography) have long assumed that Grüner Veltliner is not related to the other varieties with "Veltliner" in their name (such as Roter Veltliner), or that it is only distantly related.[4] A first DNA analysis in the late 1990s secured Traminer as one parent of Grüner Veltliner, but was not able to identify the other parent among the candidates studied.[5] The other parent was later found to be an originally unnamed variety of which only a single, abandoned, very old and weakened vine was found in Sankt Georgen am Leithagebirge outside Eisenstadt in Austria. The grape is therefore referred to as St. Georgener-Rebe or "St. Georgen-vine".[6]

Grüner Veltliner has a reputation of being a particularly food-friendly wine and is a popular offering on restaurant wine list.[7] It is made into wines of many different styles - much is intended for drinking young in the Heuriger (bars serving new wine) of Vienna, a little is made into sparkling wine, but some is capable of long aging. The steep, Rhine-like vineyards of the Danube west of Vienna produce very pure, minerally Grüner Veltliners intended for laying down. Down in the plains, citrus and peach flavors are more apparent, with spicy notes of pepper and sometimes tobacco.

 

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Party with Prosecco

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Nua Brut Prosecco is a Metro Wines Best Buy at $9.49 a bubbly bottle.

Buy 6 and the price drops to $8.55 a bottle, bringing 6 to $51.25!

Buy a case and the per bottle price is $8.07, $96.80 for all 12!

You can't beat this. Cannot.

 

NUA

PROSECCO

REGION:VENETO, FRIULI REGIONS

GRAPE VARIETIES:GLERA

COLOUR:PALE YELLOW WITH GREEN UNDERTONES

BOUQUET:ELEGANT, CRISP, FRUITY BOUQUET WITH A TYPICAL AROMA

TASTE:MELLOW, DISTINCTIVE, PLEASANTLY CRISP AND HARMONIOUS

ALCOHOL CONTENT:11.50% VOL

SERVING TEMPERATURE:6 - 8° C

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Sparkling

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If it sparkles, we got it!

MAGNUMS

Thierry Triolet Brut Rose Champagne

Pol Roger Champagne Extra Cuvee De Reserve (Wildman Imports)

* Dom Perignon 2004. $155. Compare our price!

Krug Grande Cuvee Brut Champagne

* Francois Montand Blanc de Blanc Brut (Best Buy at $28)

SPLITS

Gruet

Duval Leroy Rose

CHAMPAGNE

Thierry Triolet Brut Rose

Thierry Triolet Brut

Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot Cold Pack Swimsuit Edition!

Philippe Montand Brut

Taittinger Brut in Hollywood Gift Box

Moet and Chandon Brut Imperial

Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Reserve

PROSECO

Bocelli

Cuvee Beatrice

* Nua Brut (Best Buy at $9.49)

Sciarpa

Belstar Cuvee Rose

Belstar

METHODE TRADITIONNELLE

* St. Hilaire Blanc de Blanc Brut (Best Buy at $13.99)

Gruet Brut Rose

Gruet Brut

Schramsberg Brut Rose 2009

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc 2009

CREMANT

Gerard Bertrand Brut 2011

CAVA (Spain)

Gramona Gran Cuvee 2009, Barcelona

Gramona Imperial 2006

Cristalino Brut Rose

Cristalino

SPUMANTE (Italy)

Col. Mesian 910 Extra Dry (Best buy at $11.99)

SPARKLING WINE (Germany)

Weinbiet SECCO Trocken (dry)

SPARKLING WATER

Saratoga 

CIDERS

Citizen Cider (Vermont)

isastegi (Spain)

Angry Orchard (gluten free)

TONIC WATER

Fentimans

 

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Oasis del Cuyo 2012 Malbec & Cristalino Brut are Almost FREE

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What the Importer Cannon Wines has to say:

Oasis del Cuyo Malbec 2012

The word CUYO comes from the indigenous Mapuche language which means “country of deserts”. Its name is associated today with the wine region in Argentina. The word OASIS is used for the pristine water lakes created by the snowmelt of the Andes Mountains. OASIS del CUYO wines are handcrafted from vines grown in the deserts of MENDOZA, ARGENTINA.

TASTING NOTES
Deep ruby color. Appealing red fruit nose with hints of tobacco. Medium bodied with a smooth and lush mouth-feel. Finishes dry with lasting flavors. Excellent choice for a young and fruity everyday wine. Enjoy as an aperitif or with meats and pasta dishes.

What our customers have to day: "great taste" "big wine for the price" "velvety" If you are tracking Almost FREE FRiday, you know that we poured this Malbec last Friday. Since it was so popular and so many customers took bottles home, we are pouring Oasis del Cuyo again! $9.99.

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Value Brand of the Year, 3 Consecutive years in a row, so says Wine & Spirits Magazine. 87 Points from Wines Spectator. Start there! Jaume Serra Cristalino CAVA is made with extraordinary attention to detail in the traditional method, that is, secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. The winemaker says that this CAVA is known for its soft scent of toast and dry, lingering citrus on the palate and, that said, "is sophisticated enough for just about any meal as well as your next celebration." You cannot go wrong with this critically acclaimed product of Spain at $8.75.

 

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Pinot Noir 20% Sale Continues

UPDATE:

Biltmore, South Asheville, Montford, West Asheville, Albemarle, Grove Park, Weaverville and Orlando, Florida!!! Customers came from everywhere to shop the 20% off Pinot Noir sale. With such a wide selection and great prices, Metro Wines was asked to continue the sale one more day for customers who could not beat the 5pm deadline. DONE! Shop the sale from noon to 8pm today, Friday, December 27th @MetroWines. 

20% off all Pinot Noirs.  We offer all price points, regions and styles. There is a bottle here for you, your table or as a gift to start the new year off right!

On the shelf: Meomi 2012, Belle Gloss 2012, Roaring Meg New Zealand 2011, Omero Willamette Valley Oregon, Cross Barn Paul Hobbs Sonoma 2008, CAW Yamhill 2008, Bourgogne Maison Roche de BelleneSteele Carneros 2012, Joseph Cattin Alsace 2012, Cooper Hill Willamette Valley Oregon 2012, Terrazze Italy 2012, Monthelie 2011, Rex Hill Willamette 2011, Fortis Rogue River 2010, Parker Station 2010, Bourgogne Captain Gagnero (** 1 bottle left **)Hook and Ladder Russian River CA 2012,  Domino IV 2009, GC Willamette Valley,  Banshee Sonoma 2012, Davis Bynum Russian River 2012, HRW Napa 2010, Benton Lane Willamette Valley 2010, Lumos Oregon 2011, Simple Life CA 2011, Underwood Oregon 2012 (**2 bottles left**), and Solena Hyland McMinnville Vineyard Oregon 2011!

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KRUG Grande Cuvee Brut

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KRUG Grande Cuvee Brut. This is the BIG DADDY! Call for price.

97 points Wine Spectator "This is all about balance and the integration of power and finesse, with finely honed acidity supporting flavors of quince paste, dried black cherry, spun honey and candied orange zest, while rich notes of roasted walnut, coffee liqueur and toasted cardamom resonate on the finish. Hard to stop sipping. Drink now through 2028. (9/ 2013)

95 points Robert Parker, Wine Advocate "Krug’s NV Brut Grande Cuvee ID 112001 – disgorged already over the winter of 2011-2012 but then further aged before release – reinforces the belief that, thankfully, even wine lovers of modest means who occasionally splurge on Krug Grande Cuvee will be rewarded with a wine that need not fear comparison with this house’s more limited and far more expensive bottlings, nor for that matter with any other wines of Champagne. The harmonious juxtaposition of creaminess and lees enrichment with bright, juicy citricity and of expansive richness with levity is stunning....Citrus zest notes segue seamlessly into the fine stream of CO2 without bitterness, while succulent white peach garlanded in lily-of-the-valley is laced with rich, subtly piquant nut oils and saliva-liberating salinity. Emerging suggestions of shitake and shrimp shell reduction compound the sense of capital-“U” umami in a vibrantly interactive and refreshing finish. A day after opening, this is even more vividly complex than it had been initially, with hints of fresh red raspberry lending an invigorating tang and sensation of berry seed-crunching that delivers strikingly harmonious counterpoint to both the luscious brightness of fruit and the nutty low-tones....The team at Krug has long taken pains to emphasize that the task of assembling their Grande Cuvee from a hundred or more lots reflecting reserves of widely varying ages is mind-bogglingly complex. So is the result. (11/ 2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar "Light yellow-gold. Highly aromatic bouquet of fresh tangerine, candied fig, pear skin and ginger, plus a smoky mineral overtone. Tangy, precise and concentrated, offering a complex blend of citrus and orchard fruit and floral flavors underscored by chalky minerality. Juicy, tightly focused, youthfully angular Champagne, with nervy acidity adding cut to the long, sappy finish. I can see why some long-time Krug fans might be perplexed by this bottling but I think that it will be a really outstanding bottle with another five-plus years of cellaring. (12/ 2013)

93 points Wine & Spirits "Substantial, complex and heady, this current release of Grande Cuvée is in a constant state of change. Its flavors range from dark fruit to bright, sunny citrus, from nutty and pleasantly bitter to creamy and sweet. It carries electricity through the mineral resonance of its flavors. Masterfully blended. (12/ 2013)

 

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Pinot Noir 20% off SALE today 12/26

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By customer request, Metro Wines is opening for the BIG PINOT NOIR SALE!

TODAY, Thursday, December 26th from noon to 5pm. (Closing 5 sharp, dinner at AMBROZIA. Don't stand in my way!)

20% off all Pinot Noirs.  We offer all price points, regions and styles. There is a bottle here for you!

On the shelf: Meomi 2012, Belle Gloss 2012, Roaring Meg New Zealand 2011, Omero Willamette Valley Oregon, Cross Barn Paul Hobbs Sonoma 2008, CAW Yamhill 2008, Bourgogne Maison Roche de Bellene, Steele Carneros 2012, Joseph Cattin Alsace 2012, Cooper Hill Willamette Valley Oregon 2012, Terrazze Italy 2012, Monthelie 2011, Rex Hill Willamette 2011, Fortis Rogue River 2010, Parker Station 2010, Bourgogne Captain Gagnero, Hook and Ladder Russian River CA 2012, Domino IV 2009, GC Willamette Valley,  Banshee Sonoma 2012, Davis Bynum Russian River 2012, HRW Napa 2010, Benton Lane Willamette Valley 2010, Lumos Oregon 2011, Simple Life CA 2011, Underwood Oregon 2012, and Solena Hyland McMinnville Vineyard Oregon 2011!

 

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